Dr. Scott Cook, currently the Provost at Madisonville Community College, will be leaving in December to accept the President’s position at Dyersburg State Community College in Tennessee.
“It is a fabulous opportunity. I am excited to go back to Tennessee, but I am also sad to leave MCC,” said Cook.
He was raised in Tennessee and spent 15 years in the Tennessee Board of Regents system. After graduating from several Tennessee colleges and one in Kansas, Cook went to work for Motlow State Community College on a part-time basis before moving to Georgia for a full-time teaching post at Georgia Military College.
Cook has been the Provost at MCC since 2018 and served as Chief Academic Officer and Chief Student Affairs Officer during his time.
“This is a fabulous place to work, and the people here really are incredible,” he said. “The people here are truly phenomenal, and I really cannot say enough about the faculty and staff who work here, particularly the deans and the registrars who report to me. Their experience is invaluable, but more importantly, they are just great people.”
Cook said when he came to MCC, he understood that he would have some fantastic employees, but those employees turned into colleagues who became friends.
“I owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the President Dr. Kelley for her leadership, for everything she had done to prepare me for this position. Working for her has really been an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.
MCC President Cindy Kelley said Cook has been instrumental in the growth and enhancement of both the college’s academic programs and student programs during his tenure.
“He has been very important to the college, and we will indeed miss him,” she said. “Dyersburg State Community College is fortunate that they are going to have him as a new president.”
Cook was one of 62 applicants nationwide to apply for the President’s position at Dyersburg. The college narrowed that number down to 10 semifinalists and then invited five finalists to the campus in October so they could get to know the campus.
Cook said the main campus is incredibly well maintained, and it was recently recognized as an arboretum.
“It is beautiful,” he said.
Dyersburg is similar to MCC in that it is a rural college that covers a seven-county service area. It covers primarily the west Tennessee counties including Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion, and Tipton.
Dyersburg State was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1967 and held its first classes in 1969. The college is a member public institution of the College System of Tennessee governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Cook said he plans to take a lot of what he has learned at MCC with him to Dyersburg, like connecting with local businesses and industry to see what needs they have. He said while he is from Tennessee he has never lived in west Tennessee so it will take some time to get to know the community and the businesses and industry there.
“I think what I would take away is how important it is to be responsive to business and industry, to be flexible and responsive to their needs, and to create technical programming the college can afford in order to capture that unique enrollment,” he said.
Cook will be with MCC until December when the college lets out for Christmas break and he will start at Dyersburg on Jan. 4, 2022, when that college resumes after the break.